Nicholas Pearce presents the Garage Wine Co. of Chile…
Garage Wine was literally started in a garage in 2001, by Etobicoke expat Derek Mossman and his wife Pilar Miranda.
Since then, the dynamic duo handcraft wines from a series of individual vineyards located in the Maule and Itata Valleys, in the south of Santiago. These small parcels are either farmed by them or by the locals who have dedicated their whole life to viticulture; and they are all vinified separately and with very low intervention.
País, Cariñena, Semillón and Cabernet Franc, are some of the varieties that grow on the pre-phylloxera rootstocks, in what is called ‘el secano interior’, the dry-farmed inland. The granitic soils here crack for roots to get deep down into. But when Derek speaks of ‘provenance’ he means more than just a geographic or geological terroir. He means the farming practices and traditions that have shaped the identity of the landscape and viticulture; which is exactly what he wants to showcase through his wines.
See below for a list of wines available to order directly from the winery!
*This Private Order offer will close on January 26th. Estimated time of arrival is March 2020*
País-Cariñena, Phoenix Ferment – Secano Interior Cauquenes 2018 $27.95
This is a single ferment Blanc de Noirs, made from a field blend containing grapes of País from Truquilemu and Purapel with Carignan. It was given the name Phoenix for having been born out of the ashes after the bushfires in 2017.
The single ferment series wines include fruit from more than one parcel and are co-fermented. This wine can be called a guerrilla wine: seeing how the small farmers were forced to accept illegal and very low fixed prices by agro-giants far below their costs, Garage Wine Co. developed this single ferment as a dignified means of getting more fruit while managing to pay a fair price to the farmers. The fruit doesn’t arrive all at the same time, but they simply stack the new fruit on top of the fermenting tank, having one continuous ferment.
Isidore Vineyard, Semillón – Maule Valley Lot F1 2018 $39.95
For decades, Isidore’s vineyard’s grapes were relegated to bulk wine, although it is planted with 70+ year old vines farmed by hand and horse with traditional methods of dry-farming.
While sourcing plots, Derek saw big potential in this small parcel and arranged with the Gonzalez family to work together. San Isidore is on the road between Cauquenes and Sauzal, on the coastal range of mountains. This range is older and slower to cool than the Andes; and the soils are granitic. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented in amphoras from native yeasts on the skins for 11 months. See pictures of this parcel and wine here #gwcofieldcraft.
Pais Single Ferment Series – Maule Valley 2018 $27.95
Another single ferment wine made from País, one of the most ancient grapes in Chile. It is a synonym for Mission, that was taken from Europe all across America by the priests in the colonial times. See pictures of this wine here #gwcosingleferments.
Cinsault Single Ferment Series – Itata Valley 2018 $29.95
Naturally fermented Cinsault in open top fermenters. This is a co-fermentation of two vineyard sites in Portezuelo and Guarilihue. When a new harvest arrives to the winery, they simply stack it on top of the fermenting tank. Caps were punched down by hand; pressing was manual. See pictures of this wine here #gwcosingleferments.
Bagual Vineyard, Garnacha – Caliboro Maule Valley Lot 59 2014 $39.95
Single plot wine from a parcel neighbouring the Perquilauqeun river, that flows (very unusual for Chile!) from the mountains towards the Andes bringing granitic silt with it. The vineyard is farmed by the Solar family by hand and horse following ancestral traditions. The grapes fermented naturally from a native yeasts’ pied-de-cuve in open top fermenters. Punch downs and pressing were all manual and only a pinch of sulphites was added after malolactic. 7 barrels of Garnacha and 1 barrel of Syrah aged over two winter before being blended. 2222 bottles made.
Bagual Vineyard, Garnacha – Caliboro Maule Valley Lot 59 2015 $39.95
During 2015 it continued raining long into Spring, and when the grapes were picked, the leaves were significantly more autumnal. This translates into firmer tannins and more dense wines. Only 1717 bottles made.
Portezuelo Vineyard, Carignan fieldblend – Itata Valley Lot 68 2015 $39.95
A Carignan from Itata Valley with notes of Cinsault. As Derek says, this wine is a tribute to the resilience of the growers that have been farming the vines since colonial times. Portezuelo was the site of the first winery in Chile, and the vines used to make this wine were planted in the early 1940s. Naturally fermented with native yeasts in open top fermenters using punch-downs. Aged in old French barrels over two winters. See pictures of this wine and vineyard here #gwcoportezuelovineyard.
Higueras Vineyard, Cabernet Franc – Maule Valley Lot 82 2016 $39.95
Single plot wine from a vineyard fully managed by the Garage Wine Co. team with the support and knowledge of their dry-farming vignerons from Sauzal and Puico. When they took over this parcel they begun to cultivate it the old way through converting the pruning and rebuilding the old vines. They are seeing a great re-birth that shows wonderfully in the glass.
This Cabernet Franc ferments from native yeasts in a conical oval shaped lagar type fermenter; and lignified stems are re-introduced after crush. It is aged in old barrels over two winters.
Renacido Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon – Maule Valley Lot 74 2016 $39.95
What began with worries about the lack of rainfall in 2016 turned into a terrific quality fruit. The vineyard is close to the Maule river, that welcomes the Pequilauquen after its journey through Caliboro. Dry-farmed old vines, grapes ferment in open vats and age for two winters in old French barrels.
Vigno – Carignan Field Blend – Maule Valley 2016 $59.95 ** Shipping in 6 packs.
Cultivated by the Orellana family in Truquilemu, the freshest corner of the Maule secano area, where reds manage to ripen beautifully. The vines are 70+ year old and have always been dry-farmed by hand and with horse following traditional methods. Naturally fermented in open vats, hand-pressed, aged for two winters in old French oak barrels.
Wholesale prices are subject to 13% HST & Bottle Deposit. Delivery Charges vary based on order size & postal code.
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